HAL chief flies in Tejas fighter over Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, Aug 8 (IANS) State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman T. Suvarna Raju on Wednesday flew in Tejas, a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) from the HAL Airport in the city.

“The twin-seat aircraft, piloted by HAL’s chief test pilot Group Captain K.K. Venugopal, climbed to 30,000 feet during its flight,” the city-based HAL said in a statement here.

The defence behemoth, however, did not mention the duration of the flight.

“The flight accelerated to a supersonic speed of 1.1 Mach, followed by a simulated launch of beyond-visual-range missile,” Raju said.

“The chairman’s flight was to demonstrate the HAL’s confidence in LCA,” the organisation’s spokesperson said.

The HAL has stepped up its production rate of LCAs to meet the requirement of Indian Air Force (IAF), the statement added.

“HAL is in talks with IAF for production of 83 more LCAs with upgraded capabilities known as Tejas Mk 1A.”

The HAL, however, did not comment on reports in a section of the media that the IAF is set to take over the LCA programme from its complex in this space hub to speed up delivery of the aircraft in initial operating capability (IOC) and full operating capability (FOC) mode to the Air Force.



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